A state commission is continuing its work toward a November decision on whether to recommend changes in Indiana’s process for drawing congressional and legislative district boundaries. On Thursday, the 12-member Special Study Committee on Redistricting heard testimony from Michael Li, a New York University expert who analyzes redistricting across the country, and Ed Cook, a nonpartisan Iowa official who oversees that state’s redistricting system. They both emphasized the need for Hoosiers to decide what they want to prioritize in redistricting since it’s not possible to have a “perfect map” with fully competitive districts that never break up communities of interest, are equal in population, contiguous and compact.
Li said getting redistricting right is more important than ever, since new mapping technology and greater access to consumer databases make it easy for politicians to effectively select individual voters and place them in specific districts.
“We have a political process that’s driven in part by attempts to rig the process for maximum partisan advantage,” Li said.
Cook noted that Iowa has combated that instinct for four decades by setting rigorous redistricting parameters in state law, including no protection for incumbent legislators and a requirement that each Senate district contain two House districts.
Full Article: Leaders eye legislative redistricting reforms | Indiana Statehouse News | nwitimes.com.